The Martin Place Tragedy only weeks ago in Sydney was very sad for many people. I was on the scene early the next day and it was a strange feeling in many respects. Firstly it was for the lost and their families. Secondly it was the dangers of Muslim Extremists to the world. Thirdly it was the loss of much of our innocence too as Australians. Whether we like it or not, we are no safer than London or Europe today.
My Prayers go to the lost and their families of our French Neighbours with the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy. You have twelve people killed & many injured with (as I write this article) arrests and raids underway by the French Security Forces.
I don’t need to be the one to tell you that Extreme Islam and the Western World just do not gel one bit. We are getting more and more of these cases now and one key point of conflict is our “Freedom” of speech. Talking as a proud Australian of Middle Eastern Heritage, I think we have great freedom of speech in this country. Sure you can’t defame someone (i.e. make up stuff to damage them), you can’t incite violence or hatred – but most other things go in our country.
What I have grown up with for example is something that you just don’t get in much of the world, in particular much of the Islamic World. My father came out as a refugee from Iran fleeing persecution on a range of levels. He tells me that today it’s actually way worse than it used to be and I have even had “Gay Iranian Friends”. That is, refugees from Iran that fled because of the threat to their lives because of their Homosexuality.
I can assure you I am not Muslim Bashing. I was one of the first people on Martin Place to support #illridewithyou and if you look at my commentary on the issue I am very clear that the ruling majority of Muslims in Australia are “Normal” people. The issue we have is this extreme faction that is really putting a lot of pressure on the West.
A few years ago, we had extremist Muslims protesting in Hyde Park Sydney – all with the radical signs in the direction of “Behead those that insult the prophet”. This was stopped quite quickly and talking more to Europe, the Muslim / European Native tension is obviously quite heavily on the rise. Even before the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy, censorship and “Political Correctness” has been a growing level of fascism in our freedom of speech.
Be it you can’t talk about any race negatively (even if it’s true – I am Middle Eastern and yes, our part of the world has big problems), “Merry Christmas” is becoming an offensive statement, you are no longer able to pray in some schools in America and talking more Australia – it’s very hard to talk about Islam, Middle Easterners, Immigration Problems, Illegal Boat People, British Illegally working, Aboriginals and the like. I think that the Charlie Hebdo is unfortunately not the last of the Extreme Muslims trying to silence / control the west.
Charlie Hebdo or not – they are satirical drawings that obviously people didn’t agree with. So what is the Radical Islamic answer? A raid with AK-47’s and trying to clear the building as quickly as possible. This is obviously probably the most extreme form of censorship we can get – really akin to Hitler with his Sturmabteilung (“Brown Shirts”) that had no problems using violence to protect their message.
What is very interesting about the Islamic Extremists move to shut down Charlie Hebdo is that I am not sure if this is really working as they hoped. Sure, people will think twice about creating pictures of their prophet – however, you are getting quite a few interesting trends / reactions coming:
– It’s really dividing lots of Muslims. Many are coming out and saying “No Way” (I can see my Muslim Friends really doing this hard and good on them).
– It’s pushing the Tensions to the new levels and laws are changing with Immigration, Terrorism and the like (this is happening in Australia now).
– People have come out with over 100,000 in France already saying “Je Suis Charlie” (meaning “I am Charlie” saying that I am part of them and we stand with them).
– “Multiculturalism” and “Immigration” is really coming under debate and scrutiny. You even have German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk on the failure on this area.
– You have people that are MOTIVATED TO CREATE AND SHARE IMAGES OF WHAT TERRORISTS WANTED TO STOP.
Just in the last 24 hours, there must be hundreds of new images of the Prophet Muhammad coming out in response to this. Yes, the terrorists have sadly shot a lot of innocent people, however they haven’t advanced their cause at all. You now have people who want to oppose the Violence Imposed Censorship and it’s fueled the “Free Speech” movement on our end.
My thinking and predictions are what is coming is that:
– “Political Correctness” is really going out of vogue. People are sick and tired of not being allowed to say what they think and are resisting this now labelling it “Fascism” (which is exactly what I think).
– The Islamic Community in the West is become more pressured to support the removal of extremists and will ultimately have to integrate overtime. “Anti-Islamic” sentiment is increasing rapidly and you are getting more and more protests against them. You are even getting more so called “Right Wing” politicians against Islam and Immigration getting elected into positions of power. I think the fighting will get worse before it gets better.
– This is going to drive our new form of expressionism. With Social Media especially – you are getting more and more people who are speaking their minds, the media / government is unable to censor them and the more anyone tries to “Quiet” people – you are only going to make them louder.
– Freedom ultimately prevails in the end. You only have to look at history on that one. Sure there may be wars, but you can only shut someone up for so long. There are some massive changes in society that are coming, unfortunately much more violence however there shall be more expression and discussion of thought at the end of all this.
It’s been a very sad time for many and RIP again and my prayers to our French Brothers & Sisters. As they say, you can kill people and burn down buildings – but you can’t destroy an idea….